Back in 2013, Celbridges finest thrash metal band, Dead Label Dan OGrady (vocals and bass), Danny Hall (guitar) and Claire Percival (drums) were flying high. With a killer debut album, Sense Of Slaughter, leading to festivals and overseas dates supporting the likes of Machine Head, Dead Label were hotly tipped for success.
Three years later, that success is here, with the eagerly-awaited second Dead Label album about to be unleashed by Nuerra Records. Its safe to say that 2016 will be Dead Labels year, given the dedication and songwriting skill that went into the new album. Weve called it Throne Of Bones, reveals powerhouse drummer Percival. Its a dark album title, but this album is metal through and through and any true metal album needs a cool album title!, Theres a huge range of material on this album, adds leather-throated vocalist OGrady. There are a couple of longer songs, but there are also a few straight-up pounders that are short and to the point, like the lead single Salvation In Sacrifice, which weve just released a video for.
Check out the video for Salvation In Sacrifice, visually impactful and focusing on the attack of Dead Labels live performances, this three-minute slab of riffs and roars tells you everything you need to know about Throne Of Bones.
This about how I feel about our band, says OGrady, and how through all our sacrifices for it, we can always find our salvation in our music. It means that much to us. Its the second track on the new album, after Throne Of Bones, which is one of the fastest songs weve done! The idea behind this one was to try something a little more old-school, structure-wise, but add in newer influences. The subject matter deals with tyrannical leaders who treat their own people as animals and how we should stand up against them.
On other highlights of this immense album OGrady has this to say Exhume The Venom My favorite track on the album. Its heavy, its dark, its got violent lyrics about seeking revenge. This track really gets my blood pumping!, The Birth Of Suffering This has a very apocalyptic theme running through it, and the outro of song is really epic its the only way to describe it… and Void, which he simply describes as crushingly heavy and an excellent way to grind the audience into the floor one last time before we walk off stage!
As for the closing track, The Gates Of Hell, the singer explains: This song is probably the biggest departure for us on the entire album. The song itself clocks in at over nine minutes. Its in a different key that we never used before, its got piano parts, clean guitar parts, harmonies… you name it, this song has it!
Stepping up their game to compete with metals A league, Dead Level recorded the album in Los Angeles with engineer Chris Rakestraw.
Chris was such a pleasure to work with, recalls Percival. From day one, he got it. He knew what we were after, and shared our vision. He pushed us harder than we ever expected, but were now better players because of it. We did all the drum tracks at East West Studios on Sunset Boulevard in LA, which is way too posh for a three-piece metal band from Ireland, but it really shows on the tracks! Wed be delighted to work with him again if he would work with us, that is, ha ha!
Once the album hits the streets, itll be time for Dead Label to do the same thing. Expect no mercy, says OGrady… What got us into this in the first place is the love of playing live. Weve said it before were a live band, and we love to travel. Every day you wake up in a new city full of different things to see. Theres a sense of freedom out on the road that I love I tend to get a little claustrophobic when I havent toured for a while.
Dead Label have already got more than a few tour stories to tell. The trio ripped through Americas West Coast, delivering the clear message to audiences from Long Beach to Seattle that metal is alive and well in Ireland. The fans welcomed the band with open arms, recalls drummer Percival. There was this one time on the US tour we just did, she chuckles. We had a day off in Seattle and went to a steak house. After a while, Danny gets up to go outside for a smoke, and after half an hour he comes back with this big grin on his face. We were like What happened to you? He just smiled and said Some guy just let me take his Mustang for a drive! We were insanely jealous, OGrady adds: There was another time backstage where we were playing a small club show and the backstage area was pretty small. People were sitting on top of people, it was that cramped and all of a sudden these two guys pull out a crack pipe and start smoking crystal meth, right in the doorway. Everyone that was in that backstage area was straightedge. Ive never seen a room clear out so quick!
These are the experiences that bond musicians, and sure enough, after a few years as a band, Dead Label have never been tighter. Theres no egos and no bravado, states OGrady. We all really enjoy being in each others company. These two guys are my best friends, while Percival adds: Since Sense Of Slaughter, weve only gotten stronger as a band and as friends.
Big ambitions, but why not? This band means it, every step of the way. As OGrady puts it: I have never been more passionate about anything else. This band is my life. Its what I was put on this earth to do.